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August 20, 2014

Could it be true?

August 20, 2014 - Opening the Washington Post yesterday came as something as a shock, given a report on Georgetown. Specifically, the Hoyas may not only play in a local event formerly shunned, but Maryland's Terps may also be faced in another showcase style game.

(Cue the sound of screeching brakes). The BB&T Classic may be participated in, while the University of Maryland might also be faced.

Both were first conveyed by ESPN's Andy Katz, who the Post reported as being told by head coach John Thompson III "the Hoyas could play Virginia in the 2015-16 BB&T Classic and also possibly square off with Maryland in the Big East/Big Ten challenge series".

Both the BB&T Classic and Terps have history with Georgetown. The rocky type.

Connected in part to John Feinstein, a local writer with a long and sometimes contentious past with Georgetown's Men's Basketball program, The BB&T Classic was started 19 years ago to serve Children's Charities Foundation. According to its website, CCF funds District-Maryland-Virginia organizations that serve "disadvantaged and at-risk children by strengthening their health and welfare, supporting strong and cohesive families, and assisting educational and recreational programs". Georgetown has never participated, with former head coach John Thompson, Jr. saying on his previous radio show the school would not be forced to play under the guise of serving a worthwhile charity, as it engages in those endeavors anyway.

In terms of Virginia, G'Town and the Cavaliers have faced off seven times since 1972, with the last occurring in 2002. History buffs will remember the school's biggest game, a December 1982 matchup at the Hoyas' then Capital Centre dubbed "The Game of the Decade". Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing suited up for G'Town, while Ralph Sampson donned Virginia silks, in the 68-63 UVA win.

The Terrapins are another situation.

The schools once locked up frequently, competing pretty much annually from 1947 to 1980. Maryland has bested the series 36-27.

Part of the contention draws from a 1993 tilt that UM won in OT, 84-83. The coaches involved, Thompson, Jr. and fellow HOF'er Gary Williams had different takes on why the rubber match never occurred: Quoting Feinstein, the Post article noted "There was supposed to be a return game but [former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.] refused to schedule it, claiming Maryland wouldn't give his school enough tickets and he had voluntarily given up control of the tickets to the '93 game to promoter Russ Potts".

Williams was similarly resistant, and was quoted as saying in 2005 since "We played them at their place, the old USAir Arena, the last time we played in the regular season," if the Hoyas "want to play, it would be" on Maryland's campus.

For more background on the Hoya-Terp relationship since 1980, see Premium Court.

The last time these schools laced 'em up was in 2008, during Old Spice Classic tournament competition, ending in a 75-48 G'Town win. The Terps have had the biggest win though, a 76-66 NCAA Tournament regional semifinal victory in 2001. Maryland would go on to the Final Four that year.

UM's Athletic Director, Kevin Anderson added fuel the fire in 2012, declaring his school would not play Georgetown in any sport until the men's hoops game occurred. For the record, the school's men's soccer teams will match up in College Park on September 30th. Those two teams also hit the pitch during the 2012 College Cup semifinals, a thrilling Blue and Grey, penalty kick win.

Anderson's comments were not well received in Hoya Land. For more on that, in addition to discussing the possibility of G'Town locking up with UVA at the BB&T, and Maryland in Big East/Big Ten challenge or the Dave Gavitt Tip-Off Games, again see Premium Court.

Also on Premium Court are polls regarding both possible games. Make sure you participate in them!.


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